Natalia

ABT in DC-Kennedy Center, spring 2013

77 posts in this topic

re. Tuesday's opener:

A rather mixed program. Odd to have the big classical-tutu piece (Bizet) at the start, then go 'modern' after that. Many folks in 2nd-tier left after the 2nd ballet, Moor's Pavane.

Liked some aspects of the Ratmansky - clever steps and patterns in spots - but not the overall mish-mash of the work. Is it happy? Is it sad? What's up with the jester-like character? Despised the feckin'-ugly black/white costumes and somber lighting. Yawn. Not the most appealing of music...the usual 'snare drums marches' we hear in almost all of Schostakovich's work. And to think that folks at the Met will have to sit through three of these next month. Not even the beauty of Part & Bolle, and the high-jumping feats of Matthews, can save this dog. [For a wonderful Ratmansky ballet set to a melodious Schostakovich work, go to Concerto DSCH (NYCB). That is a masterpiece, clearly understandable...and it has COLOR!]

Moor's Pavane - Hard to believe that his was the most viually colorful work of the night - a RED dress! Fine performance by Marcelo Gomes as the Moor.

The best work of the night by far -- Balan/Bizet Symphony in C -- had its problems with corps unison and even some soloists (e.g., Herrera/Whiteside in 1st mvt unusually stiff). Hee Seo was absolutely gorgeous in 2nd movement; that entrance of buttery bourrees was to die for! Seo & Hammoudi were perfect in the adagio (2n mvt) but she had a little off-balance moment during her initial pirouettes during her moments of the coda. Kudos of the night go to the 3rd mvmt dancers, Isabella Boylston & Danil Simkin, who combined finesse with technical brilliance.

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Did Ratmansky modify the choreography since the Fall?

I didn't notice any changes.

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Boylston and Simkin will not be doing Symphony in C in NY at the Met. 3rd movement will be Reyes/Cornejo alternating w. Osiliev. I suspect that ABT will do Symphony in C at their Fall Koch engagement, and I'm guessing that Bolylston Simkin will probably be cast in 3rd moveemnt during that engagement.

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Boylston and Simkin will not be doing Symphony in C in NY at the Met. 3rd movement will be Reyes/Cornejo alternating w. Osiliev. I suspect that ABT will do Symphony in C at their Fall Koch engagement, and I'm guessing that Bolylston Simkin will probably be cast in 3rd moveemnt during that engagement.

Osiliev. Haha. Clever.

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It's not my original idea, I must admit. I read it in a recent London review.

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. Julie Kent looked lovely but didn't have much to do.

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I think that was part of the reason they revivied it - Give Kent something to do that's not very difficult. That's her only assignment for the KC Tour, since she does not do Le Corsaire anymore. I suspect the reason they are doing Month in The Country at the Met is to give Kent a relatively easy role to do.

Isn't that strange? I haven't seen Julie Kent dance in years but do have a ticket to see her in Month in The Country at the Met (she's not the reason I bought the ticket). Why do they keep her on if she is so limited that they have to find things for her to do?

According to the ABT website, unless there is another J. Kent in the company she is scheduled to take a turn at the lead in both Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake in June.

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. Julie Kent looked lovely but didn't have much to do.

.

I think that was part of the reason they revivied it - Give Kent something to do that's not very difficult. That's her only assignment for the KC Tour, since she does not do Le Corsaire anymore. I suspect the reason they are doing Month in The Country at the Met is to give Kent a relatively easy role to do.

Isn't that strange? I haven't seen Julie Kent dance in years but do have a ticket to see her in Month in The Country at the Met (she's not the reason I bought the ticket). Why do they keep her on if she is so limited that they have to find things for her to do?

According to the ABT website, unless there is another J. Kent in the company she is scheduled to take a turn at the lead in both Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake in June.

At the bottom of her dancer page on the ABT site there is a list of her scheduled performances for the Met season. She will also do Onegin and the second Ratmansky premiere:

http://www.abt.org/dancers/detail.asp?Dancer_ID=23

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Is the dress red or crimson? I sat so far away, I could not tell.

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It's not my original idea, I must admit. I read it in a recent London review.

Well, Abatt, thank you for sharing it with us. I imagine we'll see that name increasingly in the future.

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Is the dress red or crimson? I sat so far away, I could not tell.

I thought the dress was a burnt-orange.

Alexandra, thank you for the interview. I think the problem may just be that I have been watching too much Evgenia Obraztsova on youtube.

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Is the dress red or crimson? I sat so far away, I could not tell.

Isn't crimson a shade of red? Anyway, it looked red (lighter than the Crimson Tides' uniforms) to me, but the bright lights bothered me (again) so perhaps Meow's impression is more accurate.

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Isn't crimson a shade of red?

It is, but more one the blue side of red than yellow; the presence of yellow creates an orange cast.

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Liked some aspects of the Ratmansky - clever steps and patterns in spots - but not the overall mish-mash of the work. Is it happy? Is it sad? What's up with the jester-like character?

Isn't the Shostakovich 9th both happy and sad? It was superficially written to celebrate the victory over Germany, but while the immediate threat of the Germans was removed, the specter of Stalin remained.

Despised the feckin'-ugly black/white costumes and somber lighting.

I liked the costumes. Perhaps because they reminded me of tie-died jeans.

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DC folks - how did Sarah Lane fare in Symphony in C? I know 4th movement is sometimes an overlooked part, but I recently saw a NYCB dancer struggle with it so much that it had an impact with the overall ballet.

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Alexandra, thank you for the interview. I think the problem may just be that I have been watching too much Evgenia Obraztsova on youtube.

:) (A very good way to spend one's time IMHO.)

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YouOverThere -- The Shostakovich is happy and sad, I think, which is one of the things that made the ballet so interesting, for me.

vipa, I liked Sarah Lane very much in "Symphony in C" and thought her dancing quite strong. I thought she made it as important a movement as any of the others, which one doesn't often see.

i'm glad so many people went to the mixed bill! I'm looking forward to reading you all on "Le Corsaire" as well. (And more on the mixed bill too, of course!)

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YouOverThere -- The Shostakovich is happy and sad, I think, which is one of the things that made the ballet so interesting, for me.

......

Correct...but, to me, it is SO UGLY, whether its the rat-tat-tat snare drums 'happy' or the 'sad' oboe/clarinet theme. I've now seen this ballet four times and realized the cause of my headaches (yes - real headaches). It has such ugly, unromantic sounds. I wouldn't torture my dog listening to this. Shostakovich's 2nd Piano Concert, Lady & the Hooligan, and parts of Bright Stream are dancey/romantic. Melodious/dancey/romantic just happens to be my cup of tea.

All of the melodious tunes on this earth, from wonderful composers, and Ratmansky has a fixation with late Shostakovich? I can't even get into the choreography -- which has wonderful moments -- because of the torture of noise. The ugliness of the costumes was just 'the cherry on top of the sundae,' so to speak. smile.png

Total opposite of two new ballets that I love:

Wheeldon's Les Carillons, to Bizet's gorgeous L'Arlesiane Suites and

Tomasson's Triad, to Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence

Now THOSE are new grand ballets - sweeping, colorful, romantic, magnificent. They do not induce illness, as does Symphony no. 9. Sorry, I refuse to drink more of the Rat Man's Shostakovich Kool-aid.

Can somebody please explainthe ugly costumes, none of which matched? They're almost as bad as the 'gypsy corps' outfits in Ratmansky's Little Humpbacked Horse. Not merely bland - TRULY UGLY.

Finally - Who was the 'brilliant mind' who came up with opening a triple bill with the most beautiful, large-scale and upbeat ballet (Symphony in C) and ending it with the Ratmansky? That, my friends, is horrible programming/bad balance in a triple bill. This must be the first time I've seen Symphony in C not end a program.

p.s. - Vipa - I second Alexandra's take on Lane, who was very sharp -- especially a spot-on final pirouette move that ends her solo portion (the fouette into a double-pirouette, then down to knee...very hard to perform so sharply). Brava!

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In "No. 9", what does the rest of the cast, especially the main couple, do at the end while the single character (Jared, Herman) does the tours a la second? Are they left on stage?

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I'm sorry, puppytreats. I missed your post. My memory is that everyone leaves, and the male soloist spins alone.

And p.s. I would not be the first to say that Shostakovich is one of the major 20th century composers and that this is a beautiful score smile.png

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Can somebody please explainthe ugly costumes, none of which matched? They're almost as bad as the 'gypsy corps' outfits in Ratmansky's Little Humpbacked Horse. Not merely bland - TRULY UGLY.

I thought that the costumes were attractive and feminine (by modern standards) I did not care at all for the costumes for Symphony in C.

Finally - Who was the 'brilliant mind' who came up with opening a triple bill with the most beautiful, large-scale and upbeat ballet (Symphony in C) and ending it with the Ratmansky? That, my friends, is horrible programming/bad balance in a triple bill. This must be the first time I've seen Symphony in C not end a program.

It is a very common programming concept to put the slowest piece in the middle and the fastest piece at the end. I don't know that I've ever seen the Colorado Ballet program triple bills in any other order.

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The Symphony in C costumes are Karinska designs, but whoever executed them did a terrible, terrible job. The bodices were cut incorrectly, which made them unflattering, and the tutus were cut pancake style, instead of soft, Karinska-style, so the proportions were all off. They did look very girlish. NYCB's (now replaced) were always flattering. Also ABT's are white, instead of cream, which is a lot harsher-looking on stage.

This is the first time I've seen Symph C as the opener and I hope it doesn't catch on. Everything else pales in comparison and putting it first just emphasizes that. Plus it's the most upbeat and grandest of the ballets. I would have programmed them Limon, Ratmansky, Balanchine.

Lane was brillant in Symph. It's a very difficult role technically and she made it look so easy. She absolutely held her own against the other leads, and I would go so far as to see the female leads got better with each successive movement. I was disappointed by Seo. I've liked her in the full-length rep so maybe I was expecting too much, but she seemed dwarfed by the music and choreography. She has the right aura though, ethereal, so maybe she'll grow into it. (I would have loved to see Part!!!) Whiteside and Simkin were also excellent. Overall I thought the execution was a little sloppy and the first movement in particular seemed under-rehearsed.

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I've just posted a review of the opening program on danceviewtimes. The link is on today's Links thread. There will be a review of "Le Corsaire" on dvt by George Jackson, probably Sunday or Monday.

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Anyone see Le Corsaire? It's a new production, and I'm curious about what are the differences from the last one. (I won't be able to go.)

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I saw Corsaire on Thursday. I'll leave my thoughts on the dancing for another post, but, in brief, the new production is not very different from the old one (at least, as I've seen it on the 1999 DVD with Stiefel, Kent, Malakhov, et al.). It's essentially the same in spirit, and quite similar in detail. The only narratively significant departure -- to the extent that narrative is significant at all in this silly ballet -- is that

instead of the ballet concluding with Conrad and Medora waking up on the rock together, Medora pulls Conrad up onto the rock from the water. I really didn't notice any other major staging differences, though I've only seen the DVD once.

The overall color palette for the men's costumes is darker and richer and less cartoonish. These pirates look more prosperous, and Lankendum no longer looks like he's wearing a pair of goofy pajamas. The scenery for Act I is a bit more minimalist, with hanging carpets standing in for the bazaar. The grotto looks very similar. The palace in Act 3 is now dominated by a bunch of large hanging light fixtures.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but the new production struck me as not all that different at all from the old one.

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